Native to South America, short-tailed and long-tailed chinchillas are considered endangered according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. While their wild populations are suffering, they are also being bred and killed on fur farms in South America and Europe. While one animal being killed for their skin is one too many, shockingly as many as 150 chinchillas may be killed to produce a single full-length coat.
Their rescue comes at a time when animals trapped in factory farms have also been ‘collateral damage’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions upon millions of animals trapped in fur farms and other intensive farming systems have been killed and buried due to fears of the virus spreading between the animals and humans. In 2020, Denmark killed all 17 million mink on Danish fur farms for this reason, and animals around the world are still facing the same cruel fate (even those who are being bred for ‘pet’ stores).
Each and every animal who is raised and killed for clothing, be it a chinchilla, mink, cow, lamb, or duck, is an aware, feeling individual with a desire to live free from harm. Chinchillas can naturally live beyond ten years of age, and in the wild, they spend their time in large and highly social groups called ‘herds’. By confining them in cages until they are killed, the fur industry deprives these animals of their natural behaviours and lifespan.